I just asked Ryan what the next Married Life post should be about and without even a split-second hesitation, he said, “FIGHTING.” We may or may not have had a doozy yesterday. We were shooting some video content for the blog and we had differing creative ideas and all of a sudden we found ourselves in the midst of a flared-nostril, crossed-arm staring contest and we had both dug in our heels so hard I wasn’t really sure what was going to happen next. I have what you might call a bit of a stubborn streak. And a temper to beat the band. I just don’t usually show it to anybody but Ryan. Lucky fellow.
So I’m sure you’re dying to know what happened next. I made a joke to try to diffuse the situation, which made him madder, which made me re-mad, so I stormed out and went and flung myself on our bed and scrolled through Instagram until my blood stopped boiling. (No joke.) After that I came back in and said I was sorry for the mean things I said, and he said nothing back, which made me mad AGAIN, and then he backpedaled and apologized too and the rest of the day was a kind of bumpy dance where we both were mad but didn’t want to be mad so we just kind of made it through the day. By evening we were making fun of ourselves for being idiots because neither of us could really pinpoint how the fight actually started.
Sometimes I feel like a jerk because if Ryan and I never wanted to fight, we wouldn’t have to. Fundamentally, we have nothing wrong (which I know is a major blessing). We’re on the same page about kids, money, work, family, religion, all that major stuff. When we fight, it’s about completely dumb stuff. Like whether the camera should be at this angle or that angle. Or who has to pick the lunch place this time. If that’s not first world problems I don’t know what is. But despite all that, I maintain that occasional fighting can be healthy for a relationship. Because usually it’s not about the thing that’s actually happening, it’s about what’s underneath, right? If I had to guess, our fight over “creative differences” actually had to do more with me thinking he might not like my ideas or that maybe I’m a total hack and have no good creative ideas to begin with. Or with him thinking that he always just tries to help and I don’t let him help. Or the fact that we both really love to be right, to a fault. Or something similarly deep and uncomfortable to talk about because they’re more serious issues. So really, if you can be honest with yourself and search for what’s way down deep underneath the anger, a fight can be an opportunity to be better as a person and as a couple. (That is, if you can stop the steam from coming out of your ears for long enough to see what’s really going on. Which is not my strong point.)
Do you fight with your partner? What are your hot-button issues? I’m not talking pet-peeve type of stuff, I’m talking about what really gets you into a war zone. How do you get out of a fight once you’re in it? xoxo
P.S. More talk about our marriage!